CHICAGO – The fascination with extreme criminals basically fuels the most popular prime time TV dramas. In “The Following,” it’s a serial killer – in the mold of Hannibal Lecter – that befuddles an FBI agent portrayed by Kevin Bacon. The premiere is on FOX on January 21st, at 9pm ET/8pm CT.
CHICAGO – Warner Brothers has been unleashing catalog titles on Blu-ray at a rate that would strain the bank account of pro athletes. Every week lately sees a wave of movies that have never been on Blu-ray before joining the HD revolution. This quartet is particularly varied with one timeless classic, an underrated performance from an underrated actor, and two moderate action movies. Pick your favorite. My order of preference is as follows:
CHICAGO – Glenn Ficarra & John Requa do strong directorial work yet and the script by Dan Fogelman is strong but “Crazy, Stupid, Love” works primarily due to the sheer, incredible talent of its amazing cast. With a stellar mix of Oscar-nominated veterans, two of the most engaging actors of their generation, and even a few talented newcomers, this is easily one of the best ensembles of the year. They were attracted by a film that treats love like the silly, goofy, wacky, crazy, stupid thing it needs to be. Sure, it’s broad and a bit cliched, but so is its subject matter.
CHICAGO – If you’re gonna cut loose, “Footloose,” it is best to do what the production team and cast did in cutting this remake of the 1980s kitschy classic – pay deep homage to the source and modify it with a energetic and contemporary spin on the dance floor.
CHICAGO – One of the easiest ways for a creatively starved studio to manufacture a box office hit is to bank on the nostalgia of a beloved cult classic. A remake will not only attract old fans but inspire new moviegoers to rent the deluxe edition of the original, now carrying the self important label of, “The Film That Defined a Generation.”
CHICAGO – In many ways, “X-Men: First Class” is the most loyal film yet to the Marvel aesthetic in the way director Matthew Vaughn and the film’s multiple screenwriters capture the tone, spirit, and themes of one of the most legendary comic books of all time. It is a spectacular mix of great performances, well-choreographed action, and cleverly-revised history. It is crowd-pleasing to action fans and yet intellectually complex at the same time. It is what more producers of superhero movies should strive to accomplish and it deserves mention with the best of the genre (“Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men,” and even “The Dark Knight”).
CHICAGO – “I thought it would be interesting to write the story of the superhero who wasn’t super at all,” says writer/director James Gunn on his behind-the-scenes featurette on the underrated “Super,” an imperfect film with more than enough interesting ideas and strong performances to justify a look now that it’s on Blu-ray and DVD.
CHICAGO – “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is undeniably clichéd, broad in its humor, and a bit manipulative in its sentimentality, but it should be. This is a movie about grand statements, soulmates, and true passion, a film that unabashedly believes in the craziness and the stupidity of what we call love. It’s also one of the most purely entertaining films of the year.
CHICAGO – In our latest romantic comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore!
CHICAGO – Two of the funniest movies ever made hit Blu-ray next week in the John Belushi flicks “The Blues Brothers” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Both are rich with special features but they’re of material that has been available before. The fact is that these two films have been released and re-released a hundred times and most people probably own them by now. If you don’t, get to it.